Last week at a party I mentioned to my friend Tony (Ironman and fabulous cello professor at the University of Iowa) that I didn’t have a race goal. He mentioned that there was a Chocolate Stroll 5k this weekend and told me that the year before he had placed and gotten an edible chocolate medal.

That sounded too good to be true. Not that I thought I had any illusions about winning, but the chocolate part at the end where vendors hawked chocolate up and down the main street of a quirky fun little town was a plus.

I heart chocolate

It was one of the most fun races I’ve done to date. And the smallest! No bibs, no chips, just family-style. The nice thing is that registration was in the local fire house complete with a bathroom.

It was a hilly course and I felt really good the first mile and did an under 10 minute split (you fast runners out there can bear in mind that I’m making a come-back and have been painfully slow due to a bum ankle). Second mile got a little trickier but I was motivated by a woman in her 20s with jogging stroller and two kids. She’d encourage the 3 year-old to get out and run on hills, but she was pushing a lot of weight. I figured if she could do that, I could haul my extra pounds up and down those same hills.

The course ended on a steep incline. Gotta love that! But I pushed through and sprinted to the finish, breaking my goal time of 35 minutes by almost 30 seconds and shaving one minute off my last race.

This was not a personal record. But it=progress. My hard work and determination is paying off and I will get there. I didn’t get a chocolate medal but a good friend who was in the next age category got a big goal wrapped one for her first place for running the 5k in 24 minutes. I figure that could be my next decade goal, too.

Afterwards I went to a great coffee house and waited for my son and sister and her family join me for the chocolate activities. I waited. And waited. Finally I got a call asking if it was far past Kalona.

ImageNote where Kalona is.

My sister had started in Iowa City, where I live.

I waited a long time at that coffee shop, but it was great to have some downtime! They finally got their internal GPS right and joined me for a chocolate orgy.

I’m looking forward to more races like this, and especially to a more fun workouts up at our cabin in Northern Minnesota this week. It may be too chilly for open swimming, but I plan to get lots of cycling in!

Cheers, enjoy your Sunday!


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